During Irene I learned so much about what was and was not helpful during a natural disaster. With the recent destruction in Oklahoma, I offer these five suggestions to people of faith who wish to respond.
Biblical passages to which conservative Christians appeal on these issues can be interpreted differently. But even those convinced that conservatives do not interpret the Bible correctly in these cases must concede that they do so consistently.
As we have learned anew, tornadoes are indiscriminate terrors, but they cannot match the reservoirs of compassion we tap in moments like these.
There's a false gospel on the loose in the evangelical church. And it is nothing less than a diabolical doctrine that comes clothed in a bright, angelic, counterfeit message of "reconciliation."
True friendship requires a lot of hard work, not to mention trust and respect. Sometimes it's just easier to fall back on easy-to-spout doctrinal judgments rather than to invest in learning and understanding others.
Christians have not always been such enemies of science. Aside from the occasional embarrassment, science often thrived in explicitly Christian settings. This is the heritage that Christians must reclaim and reassert.
A thriller incorporating the work of the 14th century poet Dante Alighieri, 18th century philosopher Thomas Malthus and 21st century gene manipulation, the novel puts into perspective differences between Catholic and Jewish visions of hell, and the way our respective histories have shaped our contemporary circumstances.
Hell-busters exude the Spirit. They give off a Christ-like spirit. When you're in their presence, you can almost smell holiness. But the holiest of holy smoke has a tinge of the burnt smell with it. It's a smell that tells you it's been slightly singed near the fires of burning flesh and souls on fire.
In coming to a greater understanding of Christian masculinity, I am calling us to introspect and to adopt more fitting approach -- one that bears the fruit of Scripture's high calling, "reconciling the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers."
A first book is not always notable, but in this case it is. "Cut Dead" isn't a book that came out to meet a tenure requirement. It is a call to action and a blueprint for a response.
Wouldn't you assume that the newly established Church would want its devotees to immerse themselves in the sanctioned New Testament, especially since the Church went to great lengths to eliminate competing Gospels?
I have to let the loudness of God take me away to wherever I need to be. I'll still go to seven different churches and read through the piles of religious of books I've hoarded in my room, but they can't tell me anything compared to what God can tell me.
Thinking of these graduates, I turn to Jeremiah, as I often do: "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."
Pope Francis takes the Gospel warnings against Satan very literally, seeing the modern tendency to write the devil off as a kind of mythical expression or literary fiction as a kind of victory for evil's influence in the world. Having been trained by Jesuits, I understand where he is coming from.
In the prophecy from Joel that Peter quotes on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, God makes an incredible promise: "I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh." What if this statement is taken as the centerpiece of God's salvation of humanity and the world?
It's official: the end of the Easter season. Pretty soon, in fact, the church will settle in for a long summer of what it calls ordinary time. But not yet.